Osteoporosis in children: Overview

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Learn about osteoporosis and how it can be diagnosed and treated.

Key points

  • Osteoporosis occurs when bones are weaker or less dense than they should be. It is most common in older adults, but it can also affect babies and children.
  • Bones affected by osteoporosis break more easily, sometimes with only a gentle knock or sudden movement.
  • Osteoporosis can be caused by a lack of calcium and vitamin D, lack of weight-bearing exercise, some medications and, sometimes, other medical conditions that affect how bones develop.
  • Osteoporosis can be diagnosed with X-rays, bone mineral density scans or blood tests. It can be treated with diet, exercise and, sometimes, medications.
Last updated: December 17th 2013